PNP launches new, ‘less bloody’ Oplan Tokhang

Mar. 06, 2017

Davao City Police formation (Paulo C. Rizal/

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Philippine National Police Director General Ronal Dela Rosa on Monday announced the launching of the “revisited” Oplan Tokhang, which he says, should be “less bloody, if not bloodless.” Dela Rosa announced reforms to the operation, made after a death toll of over 7000, including that of South Korean businessman Jee-Ick-Joo who died inside Camp Crame itself at the hands of rogue police, had forced President Rodrigo Duterte to exclude them from his drug war late January.

In the new campaign, only a city or municipality’s chief of police can lead the tokhang (knock and plead) operations, together with a representative of the baranggay, and in coordination with the local Catholic parish priest.

“In that way maiwasan natin yung mga akusasyon na ang ‘Tokhang’ ay ginagamit sa unsolved murders. Makita ng ating church na totoo na po ito. This is aimed at saving the users and jailing the pushers, kung kinakailangan,” (That way, we can avoid accusations that [knock and plead] is being used in unsolved murders. The church will see that this is the real deal. This is aimed at saving the users and jailing the pushers, if needed), Dela Rosa said.

Dela Rosa also announced the PNP Drug Enforcement Group, which will replace the now defunct Anti-Illegal Drugs Group. The PDEG will be in charge of high value targets, manufacturers, traffickers, distributors, protectors, and drug lords. The PDEG, Dela Rosa said, is still in the process of building its membership, adding that the vetting process has been very strict.

The PDEG units will be present in every rung of the PNP’s organizational ladder, from the regional units to the stations.

Dela Rosa also introduced the leader of the PDEG, P/Sr.Supt. Graciano Mijares, who was selected through deliberations by the command group and the directorial staff of the PNP. Dela Rosa descrobed Mijares as a “veteran of anti-organized crime.”

“Beterano na ito sa gyera sa mga kidnappers, mga drug lords doon sa Mindanao. Ilang beses na itong nabaril. Marami na itong tama sa katawan. Pwede na itong mamatay anytime. Kasi he survived the worst encounters in his life” (He is already a veteran of wars against kidnappers and drug lords there in Mindanao. He has been shot many times, his body has endured bullet wounds. He is ready to die anytime, because he has survived the worst encounters in his life), Dela Rosa said of his new anti-illegal drugs chief.

Mijares meanwhile, announced the anti-illegal drugs hotline, where the public can report information about illegal drug activities to 09178950544 for Globe and 09989992286 for Smart users.

Dela Rosa also announced that the PNP is now focusing on the rehabilitative aspect of the anti-illegal drugs campaign. Dela Rosa said the problem with the first implementation of the Oplan Tokhang was they were unable to address the plight of almost 1.8 million surrenderees, leading them to go back to using and peddling illegal drugs.

“After almost eight months, almost all the local government units have already established their own localized drug rehabilitation program. Ito ngayon ang magca-cater sa mga gustong magparehab. ‘Yung sa mga matitinding kaso, na kailangan talaga ng masisinsinang rehabilitation, we can refer them to the DOH drug rehabilitation sa Nueva Ecija” (They will be the ones to cater to those seeking rehabilitation. For more serious cases that require intensive rehabilitation, we can refer them to the [Department of Health] rehabilitation program in nueva Ecija), Dela Rosa said.

Dela Rosa added that the PNP will shoulder the rehabilitation programs of LGUs yet to create their own. The PNP’s program will be called “There is Life After Tokhang,” a PNP-initiated recovery, and wellness program for illegal drug users and pushers who voluntarily surrendered to the police during Tokhang operations.

Citing data from the PNP Dangerous Drugs Board, Director for Police-Community Relations, Chief Superintendent Noel G. Constantino said 90 percent of the surrenderees could be classified as mild to moderate users, who could be rehabilitated through community or outpatient models of the drug rehabilitation programs.

To this end, ​he said, th​e PNP’s provincial and regional offices, down to the precincts and to a certain extent, its facilities, and personnel will be used for the LGU’s rehabilitation programs, in partnership with the Department of Health, the private sector, and non-governmental organizations, Constantino said.

“Actually, late last year, Police regional 6 and Police Regional Office 10 based in Iloilo and Cagayan De Oro, respectively, already conducted their own community based rehabilitation programs in police regional offices. Our Chef PNP Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ Dela Rosa envisions to replicate this initiative in other police regional offices nationwide,” Constantino said. (

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